Property: Stepping Stones - One Woman's Property Story

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Indy Lifestyle Online
SINCE 1972 Jenny Owen has bought at least six properties. She now lives in a garden flat in Richmond, Surrey.

Jenny first bought a small maisonette off the A4 in Newbury in Berkshire: "I was 28 and in love." She lost the man after he left, "taking my heart but not my money", just three months later, when she sold for pounds 9,300.

In the next 10 years Jenny remembers "getting through homes like I got through men". She can't recall exact details, as the moves were too frequent, but they included "a ghastly town house in Bracknell" and a "beautiful derelict cottage" in Sunninghill which she renovated. Happily each move brought profits and by 1982 Jenny was working in the West End. She bought a flat in Teddington for pounds 40,000 which she sold for pounds 90,000 three years later.

By 1985, "flying high in the financial services industry", she bought a riverside flat in a converted warehouse near Tower Bridge in Docklands. The flat cost pounds 140,000; the parking space, "a small patch of concrete", was an extra pounds 17,000. "It was almost three times the price of my first love nest but I didn't mind. I had a chequered history with men but at least I was good at the property game."

For 10 years Jenny enjoyed living in a development which had its share of celebrities, but by 1995 Jenny wanted green space, not glass and concrete. She accepted a developer's offer of pounds 130,000, but quickly realised her mistake: "Four months later I heard he'd bought a lot of white paint and had sold for pounds 169,000." Jenny realised she had, after all, been "ripped off by a man over property". But by 1997 she had found "a patch of green" next to Richmond Park which cost pounds 175,000.

After spending pounds 25,000 on renovation, her flat is now worth pounds 250,000. Jenny believes she has inherited her mother's penchant for moving; and in spite of her Docklands experience - where "other people made money, not me" - thinks she has done reasonably well "through luck, not judgement".

Those moves in brief...

February 1972 - bought starter maisonette for pounds 6,050, sold for pounds 9,300 in May.

1972-82 - bought several properties including Bracknell town house and Sunninghill cottage, all sold with small profits.

1982 - bought Teddington flat for pounds 40,000, sold for pounds 90,000.

1985 - bought Docklands flat and parking space for pounds 157,000, sold for pounds 130,00 in 1995.

1997 - bought Richmond basement for pounds 175,000, now worth around pounds 250,000.

If you would like your moves to be featured, write to: Nic Cicutti, Stepping Stones, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL. pounds 100 will be awarded for the best story.

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